Astronomy magazine editors share their unique insight from behind the scenes of the science, hobby, and magazine.
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Watch "The Amazing You," featuring space scientists, for free

Posted yesterday by Sarah Scoles
Ever since you were a little kid, everybody’s been telling you to live your dreams. You’re probably sick of hearing it, especially because the sentiment comes with so little practical advice. But what if someone famous told you to live your dreams, and then they told you how? The Amazing You, a new film produced by Dragos Bratasanu, features interviews from a number of fancy space-related people. They talk about the world’s future — technologically, scientifically, cultu...
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Catch tonight's lunar eclipse virtually!

Posted 2 days ago by Karri Ferron
With the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years coming up in less than 10 hours, many astronomy enthusiasts have their eyes glued to weather forecasts. Right now, things are looking OK for Waukesha, Wisconsin, home of Astronomy magazine’s offices, with an April snow shower (ick!) expected to pass and clear skies arriving in time for totality. But seeing as I don’t always trust weather forecasts, I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed anyway.If the outlooks look les...
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Explore the universe of stars with Cosmic Origins' "How stars form and evolve"

Posted 8 days ago by Liz Kruesi
A month ago, we introduced Cosmic Origins, a tablet app you can download and then purchase four fabulous interactive products that lie within. Three of these article packages focus on different categories of objects in the cosmos, like planets, stars, and galaxies. The fourth focuses on the universe itself. Each of the four products — essentially digital special issues — is chock-full of new research and fun ways to learn more about that science. In the product How stars form and ev...
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Uwingu launches its first call for grant applications

Posted 8 days ago by Karri Ferron
Posted on behalf of the Uwingu team; Astronomy magazine is a proud partner of this effort to raise funding for space science. Space startup Uwingu announced today that it is soliciting applications from planetary science graduate students to support their travel to report research results at scientific meetings in 2014 and early 2015. Applications are due by April 30, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Uwingu expects to make 10-15 awards of travel grants from this solicitation by early June....
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Explore planetary science with Cosmic Origins' "How the solar system formed"

Posted 29 days ago by Liz Kruesi
On March 5, we introduced Cosmic Origins, a tablet app you can download and then purchase four fabulous interactive products that lie within. We’re extremely excited about these article packages, and hope you check them out. Each of the four products — essentially digital special issues — is chock-full of new research and fun ways to learn more about that science. In the product How the solar system formed, you’ll explore different methods that astronomers use to find wo...
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The next big astronomy convention is in Wisconsin

Posted one month ago by Michael Bakich
Visitors to this website are always looking for the next sky happening, media event, or get-together. Regarding that last point, there’s an upcoming meeting you might want to attend.The 2014 North-Central Region of the Astronomical League (NCRAL) convention will take place April 4 and 5 at the Lakeview Conference Center in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The host organization is the Northern Cross Science Foundation, an astronomy club located in Mequon, Wisconsin.The speaker lineup is top-notc...
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The band Sound of Contact releases a space-based album called DIMENSIONAUT

Posted one month ago by Sarah Scoles
When someone tells you their latest tattoo is a quote from Carl Sagan, you know you should sit up and listen to whatever they’re going to say next. “It says, ‘We are a way for the cosmos to know itself,’” says Simon Collins, leader of the sonic collaboration Sound of Contact, a band that recently released an album called DIMENSIONAUT. The songs have trance-inducing melodies but are peppered with hard-rock chords and jam-band meanderings. The lyrics follow a human ...
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Introducing "Cosmic Origins," our awesome digital product!

Posted one month ago by Liz Kruesi
Here at Astronomy, we’ve been hard at work putting together the first ever digital astronomy experience that shows you how our universe and all the objects it contains form and evolve. This app, called Cosmic Origins, is composed of four separate interactive products for purchase, each focusing on a different astronomical topic. And it’s available now! In How the universe began, learn about the Big Bang and what may have initiated it, how the first elements formed, how tiny temperatu...
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Uwingu Mars Map to fly with Mars One

Posted one month ago by Karri Ferron
Last week, I introduced the latest effort from Uwingu, an organization dedicated to providing funding for space research and education. Its Mars Crater Naming Project gives anyone the opportunity to name any of the some 500,000 unnamed craters on the Red Planet in an effort to raise $10 million for future Uwingu-provided grants.Today, Uwingu is announcing even bigger news: The company is partnering with Mars One to bring the future Uwingu Mars Map to the surface of the neighboring world. The not...
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Name a Mars crater and help fund space science!

Posted one month ago by Karri Ferron
Science is facing a bit of a funding crisis, and astronomy is no different. As budget cuts squeeze the life from many government-funded research projects, scientists must look elsewhere for support. That’s where you and the scientists, educators, and businesspeople behind the space-funding company Uwingu come in.Today, Uwingu is launching a new initiative — along with a redesigned website — for the public to help fund grants for space exploration, space research, and space educ...
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Dundee Science Center hosts STEAM-based Lunar Observatory Event

Posted one month ago by Sarah Scoles
STEAM: It is what happens when you boil water because it’s really cold outside and you want tea. It’s also an acronym, which is why I capitalized it, that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. That’s a mouthful, but it’s an important mouthful, one whose premise is that what we consider left-brained disciplines and right-brained disciplines are more interrelated — and intracranial — than we think. British scientist and novelist C. ...
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Help the Astronomy Legacy Project digitize photographic plates

Posted 2 months ago by Sarah Scoles
In October, I wrote about the Astronomy Legacy Project, an effort to digitize 220,000 photographic plates from the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. The group has a new fundraising goal at Indiegogo, so if you like what you read below, go check it out and consider helping them do great science. Here’s a rerun of the earlier blog post, with updated links and statistics  - Terabyte hard drives were not always $75 and the size of Post-it notes. Storage devices have been cumbersom...
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Zybek begins Kickstarter project for synthetic Moon dust

Posted 2 months ago by Sarah Scoles
I’m sorry to kill your dreams, but you will never go to the Moon. Here’s a bit of consolation, though: You can mess around with Moon dust. Or at least something that’s a lot like Moon dust. It’s called Lunar Simulant, and the company that makes it — Zybek — specializes in making materials that mimic the surfaces of celestial bodies. It may seem like a weird business to be in, or a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. To find out how our rovers and la...
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Visiting the Discovery Channel Telescope

Posted 2 months ago by Michael Bakich
On Sunday, February 2, my wife, Holley, and I enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). We were the guests of Commissioning Scientist Stephen Levine, whose office is at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.The DCT is about an hour’s drive from Flagstaff near the tiny town of Happy Jack. It sits atop a mountain approximately 7,800 feet (2,380 meters) above sea level. Needless to say, the view was fantastic. But the contents of the observatory and its anc...
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Help astronomers find dust disks with new Zooniverse project

Posted 2 months ago by Liz Kruesi
Zooniverse just launched its newest astronomy-related citizen science project: Disk Detective, which involves users scouring images to identify possible dust disks around stars. Such structures could signal a young star with a disk of material that will eventually turn into planets or a mature planetary system with its own Kuiper Belt or asteroid belt. As a participant, you’ll look at a series of images — a flipbook, really — that shows an object in a range of wavelengths: vis...
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The 2014 Tucson Public Star Party is just around the corner

Posted 2 months ago by Michael Bakich
If you plan on being anywhere near Tucson on Saturday, February 8, 2014, join Editor David Eicher and me as Astronomy magazine hosts its second annual all-day skywatching party at the East Campus Observatory of Pima Community College (PCC). Last year, everyone involved had a blast, and this year looks to be even better. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue all the way through 9 p.m. Members of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA) will have telescopes set up day and night to allow...
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Stephen Hawking claims our picture of black holes needs a makeover

Posted 2 months ago by Sarah Scoles
If a group of astronauts falls into a black hole, they may be able to get out, according to a paper Stephen Hawking posted online January 22. You would not recognize the unfortunate space travelers, though, and you would not be able to piece their particles back together in a recognizable form. But information about who they were would not technically be destroyed. Hawking’s new theory, not yet through the peer-review process, proposes that black holes do not have event horizons and may no...
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"Hawking," an autobiographical documentary about the world's most famous Stephen

Posted 2 months ago by Sarah Scoles
You may know of Stephen Hawking because your mom gave you A Brief History of Time when you were a teenager and it blew your mind. Or perhaps you have nightmares about how black holes are in a constant state of evaporation because of Hawking Radiation. Maybe you’ve hummed along to “Symphony of Science” a time or two. Regardless of what you know about Hawking and his work, your perspective is a hole-filled outsider’s. Hawking, a new documentary about the world&rsq...
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An astronomy trip to remember

Posted 3 months ago by Ron Kovach
You probably remember the film The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two terminally ill men who head off on a road trip with a list of things to do before they die. Now comes a to-do list with truly astronomical implications — the second edition of the Bucket List Astronomy Tour (BLAST Class), courtesy of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. The June 1–22 tour, coordinated by the school’s Office of International Programs and its Physics D...
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Black holes are flaring and stars are being kicked out of the galaxy at the American Astronomical Society conference

Posted 3 months ago by Sarah Scoles
The American Astronomical Society's (AAS) meeting is winding up, but the news continues apace as the conference's final hour approaches. Here are some reports from the field: Big galaxies have big black holes (supermassive ones, in fact) at their centers. But Amy Reines and colleagues at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory discovered that tiny galaxies have tiny black holes. And here, “tiny” is relative, in that the black holes are known as “massive” rather than &ld...
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Heading to the International CES

Posted 3 months ago by Michael Bakich
The world’s greatest consumer electronics and technology trade show is taking place right now. The 2014 International CES officially runs yesterday, January 7, through Friday. But other shows, previews, and media day actually will make it more than a weeklong affair. I’ll be there starting today, and I’ll report what I see that’s related to our terrific hobby. The International CES is the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer techno...
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Taking pictures of nearby planets and distant galaxies at the American Astronomical Society conference

Posted 3 months ago by Sarah Scoles
NASA's Kepler telescope may be good at finding planets, but it's not good at finding all planets. It's a bit blind to worlds far from their stars. If Kepler were an alien telescope, it would have a hard time seeing our Jupiter, for instance. And its data implies “Hey! There's a planet! It's X miles wide!” rather than “Hey! There's a planet that is Y times Earth's mass and contains A, B, C interesting molecules!” For that kind of analysis, astronomers need a different...
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Exoplanets in the spotlight at the American Astronomical Society conference

Posted 3 months ago by Sarah Scoles
“Welcome to the American Astronomical Society conference, one of the largest gatherings of astronomers in the history of the planet. Although there are so many planets, it's no longer impressive,” said David Helfand, the president of the society, greeting the more than 3,000 astronomers attending the conference, which is taking place from January 5-9 in Washington, D.C. Because there's so much information at this conference, I'm providing recaps of the major stories in 140 or fewer ...
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Join us in Tucson for a day of Sun and stars

Posted 3 months ago by Michael Bakich
On Saturday, February 8, 2014, Astronomy magazine will host its second annual all-day skywatching party at the East Campus Observatory of Pima Community College (PCC). The event also will feature illustrated talks on a variety of subjects. Activities begin at 10 a.m. and continue all the way through 9 p.m.Some of the speakers include Keith Schlottman, past-president of the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association (TAAA); Scott Kardel, president of the International Dark Sky Association; Mike Reynold...
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Discover the Universe in Kabul

Posted 4 months ago by Sarah Scoles
Doug Kaupa is a U.S. soldier currently deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, with a passion for sharing the night sky. As part of the Discover the Universe program, he distributed star charts and images to local schoolchildren. On top of that, he and his colleagues pooled their resources to purchase inexpensive binoculars so the students would be able to put their new astronomical knowledge to use. He wrote about the experience at Anna’s Educational Center, where students continue to learn about...
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One month left to win $2,500 for your astronomy outreach efforts!

Posted 4 months ago by Michael Bakich
With just a month to go before the closing date for Astronomy magazine’s 2013 Out-of-this-world Award, I wanted to post a reminder about this great opportunity. If you’re part of a nonprofit group anywhere in the world that presents the wonders of astronomy to the public, you’re eligible for this $2,500 award. Based on when proposals arrived in the past few years, I’m sure there are still organizations out there that are eligible for this prize but simply haven’t a...
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Astronomy wins national award for editorial excellence

Posted 4 months ago by Ron Kovach
We are pleased to announce that Astronomy magazine has won a top award for editorial excellence in FOLIO: magazine’s prestigious annual competition. The results were announced this week for FOLIO:’s Eddie and Ozzie Awards competition, the largest of its kind for magazine publishers. A panel of media executives and FOLIO: staff judge the entries, evaluating them based on creativity, innovation, and “proven success in aligning [a magazine] brand’s mission with the end prod...
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World Egg: Jonathan Feldschuh's artistic interpretation of Planck satellite data

Posted 4 months ago by Sarah Scoles
Some artists create images based on bowls of fruit, some on groups of people picnicking, and some on images that only exist in their heads. And then there are others, like Jonathan Feldschuh, who create art from scientific data. Feldschuh’s current exhibition, called The World Egg, takes the Planck telescope’s observations — which show the universe as it was in its earliest epoch — and turns the cosmic microwave background into a source not just of knowledge but also of i...
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Comet ISON comes into solar observatory's view

Posted 4 months ago by Karri Ferron
As promised, as Comet ISON nears its closest approach to the Sun (called perihelion) on November 28, it is gaining the attention of NASA's solar observatories. First up is the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), which captured ISON and periodic comet 2P/Encke in its HI-1 camera November 21. In the time-lapse video below, dark ripples coming from the right side are more dense areas in the solar wind, causing ripples in Comet Encke's tail. The most intriguing solar observatory image...
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A spicy island

Posted 5 months ago by Rich Talcott
After leaving the Masai Mara on November 6, our MWT Associates, Inc. group split into two. Eight people decided to extend their game viewing with a trip to Tanzania to see Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti; the rest of us opted for rest and relaxation on Zanzibar, an island in the Indian Ocean not far off the African mainland. Friday, November 7, promised to be our first day of rest and relaxation on the whole trip. Unfortunately, the skies opened up in the early afternoon, putting a damper o...

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